It was April 2020, and at last, I was preparing to write Cavern’s Fall, the third book in the children’s magical fantasy series. Yet, I couldn’t throw off a disturbing sense of being ‘disconnected from reality’.
The storyline was mapped out. I could envisage the characters - the action – all the component parts were ticking over in my brain, ready to fly out onto the computer screen. Those words refused to budge. They stuck in my head like a clogged drain. Each night, as I tried to drift off to sleep, the story would play out in my head; seamlessly animated, the words flowing.
Two books into the Oozing Magic series for 7 to 10-year-olds; I honestly thought the process would be easier the third time around. There again – I hadn’t foreseen the sudden deluge of self-doubt, compounded in no small way by the arrival of a Pandemic!
Cut to July and I finally began to make some headway. Given the storyline was set at Halloween and, there were illustrations, editing deadlines to be met, was I worried?
Oh, just a little!
Writing for children of any age is never easy. They are, as I’ve discovered over the past four years, the keenest of critics. So, I am quite sure the underlying sense of urgency I was experiencing, impacted Cavern’s Fall. It certainly doesn't take long before the two main characters, Dylan and Emily are plunged into the action.
As soon as the proverbial ink was dry on my computer screen, David Hailwood, illustrator and editor extraordinaire, leapt into action. Illustrators like David are a rare breed. Patient, incredibly talented, who can extract ideas from this author’s scribbles and transform them into amazing pieces of artwork.
It’s usually when deadlines are tight or I’m feeling particularly frustrated, that I wish I had the comfort of a traditional publisher to fall back on. Someone to take on the burden of formatting, prepping for launch and publication days. But those moments are a rarity. There is a huge amount of satisfaction in opening up the first box of my books, knowing that all the hours of angst were worth it.
I’m very pleased to say Cavern’s Fall made it to market and with days to spare. Although, as with so many other parts of our lives in these strange times, it’s been impossible to celebrate it’s ‘birth’ with the usual fanfare. Social media is no compensation for a face-to-face book launch. Zoom isn’t quite the same as a group of excited children sitting in front of me, listening avidly. Those shy conversations as we talk about our favourite bits from the other stories. The thrill of handing over a copy of my book in person…
However – what I do have is my laptop, fingers that work - most of the time - and a head full of stories desperate to escape.
But this year there’s going to be a full moon, and the smell of bad magic is in the air. It would be far safer to stay at home and lock all the doors and windows… Dylan barely has time to set foot inside the 'Spooky Party In The Park' before he and his sister Emily are plunged into another breathtaking adventure. Almost captured by a mysterious veiled Flinyor, they are chased by monstrous flying Begrogs, while they race to try and save their friends Snifflebit and Quintus... and that’s just the beginning! Somewhere deep inside a mountain, the Flinyor have imprisoned their grandfather. Can they outrun the Begrogs and Flinyor guards to find him in time – and will they finally discover the secrets he’s been keeping from them?
about the author… Once upon a time, when the world was very different - I was a Psychiatric nurse. Now, I'm a storyteller and Independent Author/publisher, with five books under my belt. As a writer of children's fiction, I enjoy delving into the worlds of fantasy and adventure. Throw in a healthy dollop of science fiction and I'm very happy.
Originally from South Wales (UK), I have always loved listening to stories and grew up on a rich diet of Welsh and Greek myths and legends, so it isn't so surprising my books are full of weird creatures!
Right now, I'm to be found roosting near Pontefract, West Yorkshire, where the rain tastes and smells pretty much the same as the Welsh valleys.
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